Dec. 29-31 Rain Then Snow

Bill’s Blog

Posted: Dec 30, 2019 / 03:19 AM EST Updated: Jan 1, 2020 / 01:47 AM EST

A storm system moved through Michigan on the 30th/31st bringing up to 8 1/2″ of snow to West Michigan and up to 14″ of snow to Upper Michigan. The above picture is the Mackinac Bridge. Gaylord and Charlevoix both had 6″ of snow in just 4 hours. The snow was accompanied by strong winds. The combination of the snow and wind downed some power lines. At one point nearly 50.000 customers were without power in N Lower and Upper Michigan. As of 12:05 am on 1/1, there were still 10,989 Michigan customers without power.

Here’s some snowfall totals from the general public. The most was at Twin Lake in Muskegon County with 8.5″. Belmont in Kent Co. repored 8″. Ada – also Kent Co. – had 6.9″. Plainwell had 6″ and the 5″ at Hastings brought the season snowfall total there to 17.2″. Here’s some season snowfall totals.

The official snow total for Grand Rapids was 5.8″, bringing the season total to 21.0″. At Muskegon, 5.9″ fell, bringing the season snowfall total to 23.1″.

Fremont tops the list of season snowfall totals again this year. They had the most snowfall last winter with over 90″. Hart in Oceana Co. is right behind Fremont. Other season snowfall totals: 12.1″ Augusta, 10.5″ Eaton Rapids, 13.7″ Big Rapids and 21.2″ at Bloomingdale.

at Comstock Park
Grand River at Comstock Park

The Grand River at Comstock Park is expected to climb a little above flood state from Tue. night thru the weekend.

Rainfall totals

The storm system was a one-two punch with heavy rain, then the snow. Here’s 48-Hour Rainfall Totals from Sat. thru Sun. night – Muskegon had 1.33″ at Muskegon on Saturday and that was a daily record for Dec. 29. Muskegon’s had the wettest year ever…as of midnight they have had 47.96″ of precipitation in 2019 – and that’s 14.47″ above average (no wonder the water level of Lake Michigan is high!). Grand Rapids has also had the wettest year ever (or since an unofficial total in 1872) with 51.37″ and that’s 13.10″ above average-to-date.

Snowfall in Upper Michigan Dec. 29-30 2019

While we had mostly rain Sunday/Monday – heavy snow fell in the U.P. and N. Lower Michigan. Snowfall in the U.P.: Painesdale (south of Houghton) 18″, Ironwood 14″, Hancock and Marquette 10″ and S. Ste. Marie 6″.

Here’s some peak wind gusts from Monday. It was also windy in N. Michigan. I saw the Frankfort Lighthouse had a peak gust of 53 mph.

Peak Wind Gusts Tuesday

Above are peak wind gusts from Tuesday. The west winds pushed the water of Lake Michigan toward the Michigan shore, raising the water level a few inches and making water back up into some of the connecting lakes. There was some minor flooding along the shore of Muskegon Lake.

There are at least 11 locations where you can see fireworks this (Tue.) evening:

There were 11 locations that had fireworks on New Year’s Eve. If you want to know where to see fireworks in MI, go here: https://michiganfireworks.com/by-date/

Also: Update on the Polar Vortex.

This storm system produced stormy weather over much of the Midwest and Western Lakes. Blizzard Warnings were out for parts of North Dakota and Western Minnesota, with Winter Storm Warnings for much of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Here’s current Regional Radar:

Central Great Lakes sector loop

Go to: Most Recent Image And below is G.R. radar:

Click for latest Composite Reflectivity radar loop from the Grand Rapids/Muskegon, MI radar and current weather warnings
High Temperatures Sunday

Here’s high temperatures Sunday, 12/29. There was a 20-degree spread across the TV8 viewing area, from a high of 61° at Benton Harbor to 41° at Big Rapids and Mt. Pleasant. The 54° in Grand Rapids was 22° warmer than average, but still 11° below the record daily high of 64° set in 1984. The month of December is now averaging 4.1° warmer than average.

Regional High Temperatures Sunday

Here’s regional high temperatures from Sunday – readings were above freezing – in the mid 30’s in the U.P. The Marquette Airport had 1″ of rain and freeing rain on Sunday (just a trace of snow) with the temperature between 30° and 33° all day. They still have 19″ of snow on the ground. An apartment building fire at Little Lake, south of Marquette closed M-35.

U.S. High Temperatures Sunday 12 29 19

Here’s National High Temperatures Sunday – Note that the 54° in Grand Rapids was warmer than the 53° in Phoenix AZ and the 53° in Dallas TX. It was 8° warmer than El Paso TX. You can see the colder air in N. Dakota and S. Canada.

Crazy Cold in Interior Alaska

Very cold temperatures continue in the interior of Alaska…with the town of Arctic Village once again falling below -50°. There was a 98° temperature spread across Alaska on Sunday.

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook for Jan. 6-12

The 8-14 Day Temperature Forecast from the Climate Prediction Center shows the country cooling a bit. The warmer than average temperatures are congined to the South, with below average temperatures in the West expanding into the Northern Midwest and Western Lakes.

There was severe weather on Sunday. A total of 7 tornadoes were reported, though it looks like two of these are duplicate reports of the same tornado. There were two injuries from thunderstorm winds near Decatur AL as two mobile homes were flipped. A truck was tipped over at Union MS and mobile homes were damaged at Athens AL. A 72-mph gust was recorded at Walland, Tennessee.

And…at 3 am – Kalamazoo had an east wind at 5 mph. At 4 am the wind was west at 22 mph with a peak gust of 38 mph. At 4 am – Benton Harbor had a west wind at 22 mph with a peak gust of 46 mph. At 4 am Holland had a west wind at 14 mph with a peak gust of 24 mph – Grand Rapids had a northeast wind at just 3 mph.

Also – look at the beautiful snow in N. Africa.